so who teaches abstinence-only education?

The abstinence-only world has produced a few stars over the years, people who will draw a crowd and spout off a laundry list of dangers they claim come with sex before marriage.

One of these is a man named, Ed Ainsworth, or "Sex Ed," as he calls himself. "Sex  Ed" is a Baptist pastor with a mission: Stop those kids from having sex out of wedlock!

Ed Aisnworth came to wider attention after appearing in the 2005 documentary, The Education of Shelby Knox. The film told the story of Shelby Knox, a young southern Baptist girl, and her fight to get comprehensive sex ed in her school.

Ed appeared throughout, first entreating drunk kids in a parking lot to give up sex, then officiating as Shelby takes a virginity pledge and finally announcing to a packed auditorium that:

"The first time I ever had sex in my life was when I was 20 years old. It was in Austin, Tex., at the Hilton Hotel, at 11:30 at night, in room 1158. That’s right…it was on July 15, 1978. I celebrate it every year. It’s my wedding anniversary."   

It had been a while since I thought about "Sex Ed." Then he popped up on Dr. Phil last month, intent as ever on telling teens that having sex before marriage was a surefire ticket to doom and gloom. At one point he stressed this message by holding up two toothbrushes and declaring: 

"Nobody would stick one of these in their mouth. The reason they wouldn’t stick them in their mouth is because they don’t know where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing, or who they’ve been doing it with. I [also] have a virgin toothbrush right here. Can you get back in your box and start over? Absolutely. Can you get your dignity back, your reputation back, your innocence back, your self-esteem back? Absolutely. A person can start over."

Yup, "Sex Ed" is also about secondary virginity, that scary notion that you can simply claim to be a virgin if you promise never to have sex again before marriage.  I am not sure what "Sex Ed" thinks about how someone should deal with an STD he or she got before their secondary status.

He doesn’t really go in for details, favoring scarce tactics and half-baked musings like this quote found on his website: "Sex in marriage is like fire in the fireplace, it will keep you warm and make you  feel good. Sex outside marriage is like a fire in the middle of the floor, it will burn your house down and destroy your life."

There are a number of Ed Ainsworth’s out there.  Have you encountered him or someone with a similar message? What was it like?

Photo provided by smallestbones


Posted in: Health, Sex & Relationships, The State of Sex Ed, Virginity
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  • megan

    at my school they actually have a pastor come to teach sex-ed.
    you can’t even really call it sex-ed b/c all we learn about is why not to have sex before marriage…
    it’s not a very good lesson for those who aren’t Christians and they don’t say a thing about lgbt people. he focused on why girls shouldn’t have sex with guys and then he switched and told us why guys shouldn’t have sex with girl (before marriage).

  • megan

    at my school they actually have a pastor come to teach sex-ed.
    you can't even really call it sex-ed b/c all we learn about is why not to have sex before marriage…
    it's not a very good lesson for those who aren't Christians and they don't say a thing about lgbt people. he focused on why girls shouldn't have sex with guys and then he switched and told us why guys shouldn't have sex with girl (before marriage).

  • megan

    at my school they actually have a pastor come to teach sex-ed.
    you can’t even really call it sex-ed b/c all we learn about is why not to have sex before marriage…
    it’s not a very good lesson for those who aren’t Christians and they don’t say a thing about lgbt people. he focused on why girls shouldn’t have sex with guys and then he switched and told us why guys shouldn’t have sex with girl (before marriage).

  • fallon

    At my school all of the heath teachers claim that that don't teach abstinence-only sex education but most of the time they do, just cleverly hidden in their long speeches about how we should wait untill marraige. They basically say that if we have sex before marriage we will contract some sort of STD and die. They talk to us about condoms and birth control but they always say that they don't work well enough to trust them. I think all of it is just scare tactics to keep us from having sex before they think we're ready.

  • crazy witch

    This sounds really bad, I know. But everytime I hear someone preaching about abstinence, it makes me want to go out and have sex to prove them wrong. I know a lot of kids don't take it seriously, and I am one of them. It works for some, just not for all.

  • Elinor

    I very strongly disagree with "Sex Ed"'s tactics. It's important for people, of all ages not just young, to have the infomation they need to make an informed choice. Whether that be to have sex now or wait till they are married. Even if you do wait till you're married you will still need to know about birthcontrol, unless you want 10+ kids, but either way you should be able to make an informed choice about it, not simply do it because you think you have no other option.
    As a Pagan I believe sex is sacred, a gift from the gods to be enjoyed and celebrated. I dont feel it should be trivialised by simply having sex with anyone who comes along. But it is an individual's choice, and so long as they're not causing harm by it then it's none of my buisness what the choose to do.
    Sex is a powerful thing, and should not be taken lightly. But for those who are ready, understand the risks and take apropriate precations, it can be a wonderful expression of love, life and pleasure.

  • Ellen Friedrichs

    Lana, Thanks for your comment!
    The reason I think secondary virginity is "scary" is not that I am opposed to people coming to terms with their pasts, but rather because simply calling yourself a secondary virgin won't cure an STD that you got before your secondary status.
    Plus, calling oneself a virgin could be misleading to a partner who might not believe in secondary virginity. Hope that clears things up!
    Ellen

  • Lana

    OK, I understand why whoever wrote this article might be against “Sex Ed’s” tactics. I am, too. I believe that people should be properly educated so that they may make clear decisions for themselves. I also believe that having sex not make you dirty or unclean.

    However the author of the article says: that secondary virginity is a “scary notion.” That is just a tad bit opinionated. I almost feel as if this website is trying to get on our level too much, and is dumbing their articles down because they think that is what we want to hear.
    There is nothing wrong with secondary virginity. It is a way for some people to come to terms with their pasts and make new beginnings for themselves. If they want to, who are we to say they shouldn’t? I’m not saying that I believe in abstinence only though.

  • Lana

    OK, I understand why whoever wrote this article might be against "Sex Ed's" tactics. I am, too. I believe that people should be properly educated so that they may make clear decisions for themselves. I also believe that having sex not make you dirty or unclean.

    However the author of the article says: that secondary virginity is a "scary notion." That is just a tad bit opinionated. I almost feel as if this website is trying to get on our level too much, and is dumbing their articles down because they think that is what we want to hear.
    There is nothing wrong with secondary virginity. It is a way for some people to come to terms with their pasts and make new beginnings for themselves. If they want to, who are we to say they shouldn't? I'm not saying that I believe in abstinence only though.

  • Lana

    OK, I understand why whoever wrote this article might be against “Sex Ed’s” tactics. I am, too. I believe that people should be properly educated so that they may make clear decisions for themselves. I also believe that having sex not make you dirty or unclean.

    However the author of the article says: that secondary virginity is a “scary notion.” That is just a tad bit opinionated. I almost feel as if this website is trying to get on our level too much, and is dumbing their articles down because they think that is what we want to hear.
    There is nothing wrong with secondary virginity. It is a way for some people to come to terms with their pasts and make new beginnings for themselves. If they want to, who are we to say they shouldn’t? I’m not saying that I believe in abstinence only though.

  • Lana

    OK, I understand why whoever wrote this article might be against "Sex Ed's" tactics. I am, too. I believe that people should be properly educated so that they may make clear decisions for themselves. I also believe that having foes not make you dirty or unclean.

    However the author of the article says: that secondary virginity is a "scary notion." That is just a tad bit opinionated. I almost feel as if this website is trying to get on our level too much, and is dumbing their articles down because they think that is what we want to hear.
    There is nothing wrong with secondary virginity. It is a way for some people to come to terms with their pasts and make new beginnings for themselves. If they want to do, who are we to say they shouldn't? I'm not saying that I believe in abstinence only though.

  • Marie-Hél&egr

    Seriously, a toothbrush? Well, I would not lend a toothbrush to anybody for one thing, javellised or not! The comparison would be better with book if we want to joke around. If a book has been read a few times before, has been taken everywhere and has survive the bathroom humidity, being carried in a schoolbag and a trip to the beach. If that book which provided hours of pleasure has been lent or given, it is a real gift. You're assured to have a good time reading it (or almost) and it will not be damaged by you using it. However, a new book might cost a few weeks allowance for a cute cover and will be qualified of used the second you finish reading it. However, you will have the thrill to smell the fresh scent of ink and turn bright white pages. But both are great to have in a library. 😛

  • lizzy

    Yeah, except who the heck gets married at 20 these days??

  • anais

    While I agree that teens should learn the consequences (both positive and negative) of having sex, every individual has a right to make their own choices. I would hope that they make informed choices based on open communication with their partner, knowledge about pregnancy and STD prevention, and respect (both self and for their partner).
    I think it's also important to point out that marriage isn't for everyone. Some people, both heterosexual and homosexual, find loving, supportive, healthy relationships outside of marriage. They might want to express their love in an intimate way also.

  • Mandi

    Yeah, Kelly, and marriage is a magic condom that saves you from STDs, STIs, and unwanted pregnancy.

  • Anna

    Yeah, I personally agree with his basic principal, and I am personally waiting for marriage to have sex, but perhaps he should explain more about it rather than the admittedly rather vague aforementioned phrases. Some people do tend to hammer on about "you must not do this or you will go to hell", when really, as long as you're trusting in Jesus then you're saved, and everything else will follow on from there.

  • kelly

    i don't disagree with what he's saying at all. everybody knows that the only way to prevent std and pregnancy is by NOT having sex. i cant wait to save my virginity for marriage. ive been pressured in every way to have sex, but i want to save it for someone who i will be with FOREVER & who i know is worth it!! its my gift to my husband. im not bashing anyone who has had sex before. thats just me. <#33333 PEACE